Classroom Has No Place for Good Book Schools Wary of Using Bible to Teach Literature

By Ryndak, Heather | Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL), January 12, 1999 | Go to article overview

Classroom Has No Place for Good Book Schools Wary of Using Bible to Teach Literature


Ryndak, Heather, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)


Byline: Heather Ryndak Daily Herald Staff Writer

Marsha Zierk understands that many more interests compete for students' time than when she was a student about 25 years ago.

The Central High School teacher also realizes that religion no longer makes up the blueprint in many students' homes, as was more common during her school days.

But Zierk was still surprised this year when she tried to bridge a comparison of Edith Hamilton's translation of the Greek mythological "Deluge" to the story of Noah's Ark during her high school English class.

What she got was a room full of blank stares.

"I just couldn't get over it," Zierk said. "It doesn't matter if you are Christian or not. It has nothing to do with religion.

"It has to do with a basic understanding of the Bible, which is essential to understanding many works of literature."

In an attempt to reverse this trend, Zierk recently proposed a class in the rural Kane County school district that would use a book called, "The Bible As/In Literature." The text is full of biblical selections with ties to literature to help students recognize biblical allusions, symbols and themes.

But the idea never made it beyond the concept stage.

The Central Unit District 301 board voted against the proposed class last month because there was a potential the course would be perceived as teaching religion.

"We thought it was a conflict within a public school," said board President Dan Heffernan. "But I think the class did have some merit. Students are not as familiar with literature, partly because they are not as familiar with the Bible."

Not only can a lack of knowledge about the Bible hamper students' awareness of literature, it also shields pupils from understanding U.S. history, culture, laws, art and family structure, Zierk said.

"Our history is steeped in religion, in the Bible," she said. "I don't want to become a star through this. This proposal was for the students' benefit."

The book, in its second edition, has more than 40 passages from the Bible, from Genesis to Revelations. It also contains more than 50 related poems, plays and narratives - from such renowned authors and playwrights as Mark Twain, William Shakespeare, ee cummings, Robert Frost and T.S. Eliot - that display the influence of the Bible in classic and contemporary world literature.

Doug Utigard, who edited both the 1976 and 1995 editions of the book, said the text is not intended to bring religion into the classroom. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Classroom Has No Place for Good Book Schools Wary of Using Bible to Teach Literature
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.